Archery Hyjinx; Swinging ‘Bells…

Posted: June 21, 2011 in Archery, kettlebells, Unfocused Rambling

In any objective arena, there are “best” things. Though the winds of change generally don’t let the “best” remain the same for long, if you’re lucky enough to have access to any of these, it’s pretty darned neat. When it comes to the compound bow that is the most efficient at transmitting the strength of your draw to the arrow, I have had a chance to use the best.

That best, for the nonce, is the PSE Omen. Under ideal conditions, it is able to hurl an arrow at 366 feet per second(that’s essentially 250 miles per hour). With the same arrow, the same weight, and the same draw length, no other bow can do that. A few get close, but nothing can match it right now.

What does this mean? (part one) Force equals mass times acceleration, and the more speed, the more force imparted to the arrow.

What does this mean? (part two) The faster the arrow travels, the less “arc” it requires as targets become distant, making it easier to hit the target.

What does this mean? (part three)  If you’re using a bow to hunt, the more force it can bring to bear on the target, the higher the chance to end the animal’s life in a quick, humane fashion.

I have no strong desire to hunt with a bow at this time. The fascination with power and speed is more a theoretical one on my part. The fact that the Omen is so powerful and fast is primarily an abstract, in many ways. Yes, you can tell that all compound bows are fast, but the gradations are somewhat difficult to see, unless they are large (the difference between my recurve and a fast compound bow, for instance). My target backstop is inanimate, and doesn’t care. The juice jugs and vitamin pill bottles I shoot are not in danger of limping away and dying a painful death beneath the barbecue. Hitting ’em at high speed and pinning them to the backstop is still super fun.

Back to the Omen in specific. My cousin Robert allowed me to shoot this bow on three occasions over the last few weeks, and I shot it most prolifically this morning. He doesn’t have it set to the highest draw weight, but it is still a fairly brisk 65 pounds. Not hard for a guy my size, but after you draw it thirty or more times, you start to feel it. If you’re doing it right, you actually feel it directly in the rhomboid muscles, which is neat, because so few things directly target that spot. The Omen, more than any other bow, hits you right in the rhomboid. (grins)

In comparison to other bows of similar draw weight, the Omen requires a little more focus. The methods by which ultimate speed are achieved generally translate into some level of concession on the user’s part. Ferraris are not as comfortable as big sedans, just as speed bows are not quite as easy to use as some others.

That being said, the Omen is a marvel. Once an archer gets familiar with the draw cycle, it is very, very easy to shoot. It’s the one bow I’ve shot that I’ve had the same accuracy as from my own bow, the Black Knight II. It is so smooth upon releasing the arrow that your bow hand feels no shock at all. It is also the quietest bow I’ve ever shot. So quiet, in fact, that shooting it didn’t even disturb a big robin that was flitting around in the back yard. It is also very light and compact, which would make it easy to carry around in the field.

I’ve always had a great affinity for mechanical stuff that works gracefully and does just what it should. The Omen, though it is PSE’s top-of-the-pops bow and goes for big money, is such a device. It is the fastest and the baddest, but not at the expense of other important qualities. It has the power of a bow from five to ten pounds heavier, is executed to near-perfection in regard to usability, provided that you choose a draw weight within your comfort zone, and will put the arrow just where you are aiming. One cannot ask for more. While I am still greatly enamored of the Prime Centroid, because it’s so darned friendly and easy to shoot, I think that there is something about the Omen that stirs the soul. I’m honored to have been able to shoot it, and shoot it with good results.

*****

Okay, so you know that I’ve been shootin’ up the back yard every chance I get. What about hoisting stuff? Well, I’ll admit that, with relatives in town, sunny days afoot,  and writing deadlines looming, I’ve been doing less than I’d like.

I did swing the kettlebells around yesterday, actually getting twenty reps in a row with bottoms up cleans, succeeding on bottoms up cleans from a dead stop on the floor (which feels really neat), and having somewhat tough sledding with bottoms up snatches. I have also been working with some lateral swings with the k-bell. I can tell you this: the exercise is much less perilous with a k-bell than with a bucket. Since the ‘bell is so much more compact, it’s just easier to manipulate. It still provides the same great torso exercise, with the added benefit that it’s easier to pass the ‘bell from hand to hand without putting it down.

As a walk-away shot, also consider that, when I looked it up, archery burns something like 700 calories an hour, so it is, especially when you’re pulling a fairly heavy bow, decent exercise.

Happy Lifting…or Shooting!

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